Helen Clark today paid tribute to the late Graeme Weld, Mayor of Western Bay of Plenty District Council, who passed away at the weekend.
"Graeme Weld was a very well-respected mayor and I enjoyed many years of close co-operation with him after he was first elected in 2001," Helen Clark said.
"Graeme had a background in farming before becoming Mayor, and was elected unopposed for his third term last year.
"He also served on the national executive of Local Government New Zealand, where he made a strong contribution in the transport portfolio. He enjoyed a close working relationship with the Transport Minister and other Ministers during his time as Mayor.
"My thoughts are with his wife Susan, and his children and grandchildren," Helen Clark said.